I’ve probably mentioned this a thousand times: when it comes to kids doing art, less is more. So, so, so much more. Yes, it’s super cute when your kiddo comes home from preschool with their little handprint stamped on construction paper in the perfect form of a heart, with “I love you mom” written on it in bubbly penmanship. But don’t you wonder how much screaming (and how many baby wipes) it actually took for that piece of “art” to come home?
Face it: Pinterest and mommy blogs can be exhausting. Who really gives their kids food coloring and lets them completely go nuts with it on their kitchen table? Yes, there are the bathtub/backyard projects that get messy and you couldn’t care less. But when you have two kids running around with goopy paintbrushes while you try to get them to paint toilet paper tubes in the hopes of transforming them into sweet little animals, no one is feeling too sweet at the end of the hour.
Here’s a secret: Your preschooler doesn’t necessarily care how many different colors he is painting with, whether the eyes are in the right place, or that the final product looks nothing like a snowman. When you try to grab the glue away, stop the paint colors from mixing together, or “help” your child draw inside the lines, you often witness frustration and defeat in your child. When you let go of a little control, you open your child up to an unlimited world of creativity.
Plus, how much fun is it for your child to do a project if you’re doing it all for him or her?
That’s why we’re changing things up a little at Tmuffin. We’re letting your kids do a little more. We’re going to be opening up the art room at 10AM for some more self-directed creativity. Your kids might get messier than usual. They might squeeze out an entire container of glue at once. They might not create any artwork to take home. They might go home with a masterpiece.
They will, however, go home with a sense of confidence in themselves and their creativity. They’ll practice their fine motor skills. They’ll know that theycando it. And what’s more, you’llget to see it as a parent. You’ll get a glimpse into whether your child is more interested in pouring all the crayons into a cup or drawing drizzly lines with glue. Either one is fine and gives your child a chance to truly explore the world. But you’ll never know if you don’t let them try.